Articles by Gregg Burton & Donna Dean
Are you having trouble finding that important piece of information in the stack of papers on your desk?
Are you hoping to eliminate the chaos and become more organized and efficient in your daily tasks?
Then let us introduce you to a new tool for improving your productivity – the digital notebook. There are a variety of options available, but two of the more popular are OneNote and Evernote. Features may vary, but any digital notebook will still propel you forward in your quest to minimize paper. The Project Managers here at Park Place International use OneNote as one of our productivity and organizational tools to manage our MEDITECH projects ranging from small to complex multi-datacenter implementations.
What is A Digital Notebook?
- A digital notebook is a software application that enables users to collect, organize, and share notes and information electronically.
- Digital notebooks can live in the cloud with a free cloud account from Microsoft (or live locally on your hard drive if you are not ready for the cloud).
- Notebooks can be accessed on a variety of devices - computer/laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone.
- Digital notebooks are touch screen compatible.
- You can keep your notebook private or share it with other team members to collaborate on a project.
- Digital notebooks offer the ability to record everything from thoughts to formal meeting notes, informal discussions, documented action items, video, and audio. The flexibility is only limited by your imagination.
- Templates can be created for frequently used documents, e-mails, and checklists. When it is time to begin a new assignment, simply copy the templates to a new notebook..
- Most digital notebooks offer integration with other applications, such as Microsoft Outlook email, calendar, and tasks.
- Digital notebooks integrate with Excel, Word and Visio documents.
- Many notebooks provide drawing features further enhancing your flexibility to create documents to fit your specific needs.
- Digital notebooks make it easy to share information by exporting it to PDF/Word or e-mailing the page directly to others.
Tips and Tricks for Getting Started:
- Identify what information you want to track and how you want to organize the information. It’s always good to have a high level plan for what you are trying to accomplish.
- Create a “library” of templates for all the documents and standard emails that you typically use when you get a new assignment. (The templates can be customized with company logo and colors to help ensure that valuable branding remains intact.)
- Check out the pre-built templates in applications such as OneNote. Copy the templates over to a new notebook when you are ready to begin a new assignment (i.e. a new project, a new customer, a new employee).
- Open your digital notebook when you start your day and train yourself to use this for logging all notes (formal and informal). It’s a great repository for all information and the search capability is priceless. Being able to do an electronic search sure beats having to flip through lots of paper on your desk to find that one note you know you jotted down.
- Learn to use the Tags feature to help you quickly locate items in the future. You can assign the ‘To Do’ tag (i.e. check box) to action items and then search on the tag.
- Disseminate information to others on the team with only a few clicks of the mouse. You can easily email the page(s) to team members or save the document to Word or a PDF.
- Back up your notebook to an external hard drive or shared drive if it lives on your local system. Now that you have gone paperless you don’t want to lose all that valuable information.
- Watch some YouTube videos for additional ideas and more sophisticated ways to use this tool.
- Stay tuned for more information on improving your productivity!
Gregg Burton has 4 years of experience managing MEDITECH infrastructure projects. In his role at Park Place, Gregg is responsible for working with customers to ensure their datacenters are ready for the new hardware, coordinating project schedules to meet MEDITECH software delivery timelines, overseeing the engineers assigned to the project, and engaging 3rd party vendors as needed. Prior to working in the MEDITECH implementation field Gregg worked for 6 years as a Project Manager doing Data Center, Cisco Unified Communications and Network installs for schools, local governments and small businesses in the new England Area. Since 2010 Gregg has successfully managed more than 100 MEDITECH implementations.
Donna Dean has 8 years of experience managing MEDITECH infrastructure projects. In her role at Park Place, Donna is responsible for working with customers to ensure their datacenters are ready for the new hardware, coordinating project schedules to meet MEDITECH software delivery timelines, overseeing the engineers assigned to the project, and engaging 3rd party vendors as needed.
Donna is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) through the Project Management Institute (PMI) since 2004 and has successfully managed more than 200 MEDITECH implementations.